Help Us Complete Our Arts School
Augusta Mini Theatre Inc., Augusta, Georgia’s first arts and life skills school, was founded on October 8th, 1975, by Tyrone J. Butler, as an affordable 501(c) (3) non-profit arts school. Our programs (African/modern dance, drama, piano, visual arts) and workshops (teen pregnancy prevention) are open to the entire community. For the past forty-two years, the Mini Theatre has filled a void by giving attention to the artistic needs of the underserved. The arts school has trained over 6000 students and not one has ever been turned away due to the inability to pay. Also, no student enrolled in Mini Theatre four or more years, has ever dropped out of school.
Augusta Mini Theatre supports students in and outside of the classroom. We make school visits, home visits, assist with college enrollment, books and support students in other community and school activities. We are so much more than just a school; we are a family.
Over a 10 year period, with the help of the City of Augusta, State of Georgia, and public support, we were able to raise more than $3 million to build Phase I, a 9,333 square foot community arts school. The arts school sits on 11 acres, at 2548 Deans Bridge Rd, Augusta, GA. We moved into this facility in September 2008. This state of the art facility includes offices, four studios (dance, piano, art and drama) and media center. Below is a picture of our current performance space which is our drama studio, the Judith Simon Drama Studio, otherwise known as the "black box". This is where all 150 of our students perform and showcase their art.
(Taken from back of studio)
(Taken from on stage, front of studio)
In the beginning, the hope was to construct Phase I & II of the arts school at the same time. But after 10 years of raising funds, the cost of the entire project went from $3.2 million to $4.6 million. Therefore we were only able to constructed Phase I: The Arts School. Phase II is the 250-seat theatre that will allow for adequate performance space for our students. It will also provide a more comfortable experience to parents and community members who come to see our students perform. Below is the blueprint for the theatre and arts school.
The cost to construct Phase II: the 250-seat theatre, is $2.9 million and the City of Augusta has challenged The Mini Theatre with a $857,173 grant, provided we match it by 25% ($215,000).
Presently, we have raised $175,000 and need to raise $40,000 to reach our match of $215,000 by March 2018 or, possibly, lose the $857,173 grant.
We are asking the public to help us raise the remaining balance, so that we may construct Phase II: 250-seat theatre and be able to provide more opportunities for students to develop talents, life skills and artistic skills to help ensure their potential is realized.
Any additional funds raised exceeding our goal will be used for GoFund Me fees and the overall construction of Phase II: The 250-Seat Theatre